As 2012 draws to a close, there are so many items to blog, and so little time…
To begin, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Norman Schwarzkopf, who was a larger-than-life figure from my childhood. And while there are many conflicting opinions regarding what his actual role and effectiveness was in planning and executing the campaign in 1990-1991, I think that, on balance, as the commander of a complex coalition one couldn’t have asked for much more from a general. With that in mind, here’s an WP article on his passing, a round-up of reactions to him, a thoughtful article about the larger legacy of the Gulf War to untreated veterans (read this!), and a very short PBS obituary. RIP, General.
Here’s a roundup of some links and stories that have caught my eye in the last month or so–enjoy!
- Random stuff: an interesting critique of Joss Whedon’s female characters. Not sure what I think of it, but worth reading.
- Current events:
- A sobering article in The Atlantic about the return of slavery around the world.
- Another sobering and very disturbing article about the prevalence of sexual assault in war zones. Seems like we’ve make no progress, maybe even have gone backwards, since 1991.
- A reflection on the aftermath of the revolution in Tunisia.
- A couple of book reviews that caught my eye: Herman Amersfoort and Piet Kamphuis’ May 1940: the Battle for the Netherlands; and a notice of the reissue of Showalter’s classic study of Frederick the Great. Also worth reading: reviews of Middleton’s The War of American Independence, Badem’s The Ottoman Crimean War.
- Medieval items:
- A fascinating exhibit on Bernini’s sculpting process is currently happening at the Met. Thanks to my friend Sarah for drawing my attention to this!
- Kathryn Warner continues her amazing research into the life and reign of Edward II: Siege of Caerphilly Castle, major medieval dates in December, and a year-end round-up of the blog’s activities and highlights. One of my favorite blogs, and her article on the earl of Kent’s affinity has been very useful to the diss as well. I’ll be assigning her “10 Commandments for Writing About History and Discussing it Online” to my classes this spring.
- My friend Kathleen Neal’s blog is awesome as well: can’t wait to read the article that comes out of this notice about Edwarrd I’s correspondence. And I completely sympathize with her lament about the damage past archivists have inflicted on documents. Also, her slide illustrating the conciliar origins of Martin Luther is definitely worth using in class.
- Random military stuff:
- A few fascinating entries from the Civil War photos blog: on the New Jersey brigade’s valor at Chancellorsville (never thought I’d read something so laudatory about my home state), on the 2012 photos of the year, and on Edward Everett Hale’s encounter with the New York Mounted Rifles.
- The Kings of War bloggers have done a year-end round up. Lots of really great analysis and debate here. They are always worth reading, even if their arguments leave one scratching one’s head on occasion. (I’m really thinking only of the “The Fundamentals are not Sound” section. That unsoundness is something I’ve long taken for granted, and the section perhaps says more about the temptations of methodological rigidity at King’s College than it does about the mil studies, and especially mil hist, community at large. Just sayin’.)
- Extract from an interview with Robert Citino, in which he mentions the relevance of reading about overlooked campaigns, such as the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, to the study of military history.
- Digital Collection of Military Uniforms, on line! http://jostwald.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/more-digital-images-online/
- The Marine Corps is experimenting with new PT standards, and infantry opportunities for women. Whether it’s legitimate, or a publicity stunt, is probably too soon to tell.
- Russia apparently has a new, and rather advanced, stealth fighter. Yipee.
- And finally, combat dolphins. Anything is possible, I guess.
Happy New Year!